We had spent almost the entire development process contemplating when to release our game and how to go about the release. We knew we wanted a free version with levels unique to the free version and then a paid version with significantly more levels, but what order?
Free first? Paid first? Same time? We used a lot of other similar games on the market and android as case studies and tried to glean what knowledge we could from their releases, but the more we studied the more we found luck to be at play. When you’re trying to strategically release your title for the greatest amount of exposure, the last thing you want to deal with is uncertainty, but here we were.
We finally settled on doing a free or lite version first, and then the paid version a week later. Where we’re stuck now, is, do we push the free version and advertise it and put out press releases and get a lot of downloads of our free version at the risk of losing full version downloads?
We’re thinking we might wait to fully push it and advertise it after the full version is released, that way the game will be a bit more polished and people will have the option right away to purchase the paid version if they like it enough.
But even that is kind of scary just because what if we already missed our window of opportunity? I don’t think we have, it’s been shown time and again on both the iPhone and Android market that you have a solid 6-month window where sales have a chance of gaining momentum, but the fear still hangs in the back of our minds.
We still haven’t fully settled on a price yet, and even that has been a hot topic of debate for us as we try and find a good point to put it at. Some people have mentioned 4.99, other 0.99, and it’s hard to say where exactly we want it, especially after the amount of work we’ve put in, but it ultimately comes down to the greatest revenue stream based on content. I think our game is worth more than 99 cents, but is it worth 1.99 or 2.99? not sure, but we’ll decide here in the next couple of days, and we can always alter the price based on updates or feedback from users.
Overall the amount of time we’ve spent researching release schedules and their effects and pricing and its effects almost equals the amount of time spent writing code. All the research has definitely been helpful and will continue to help us down the road. Once our game has been out for a couple weeks we’ll post a few reflection posts on how the game did and how different tactics affected it’s sales.